When my nieces were little, I used to ask my sister what I should get them for their birthdays or holidays, and most every time she answered: books. Needless to say, they got lots of children books. Additionally, my sister takes them to the local library regularly. No wonder my older niece, Do, reads every night before she sleeps just like my sister and I used to do; my younger niece, Jo, has reading ability way surpassed her grade level. I am so very proud of them, and would like to think that I contributed in a small way with some of the book I got them.
I wanted Ravi to be a reader too, so I started reading to him when he was just a few months old. But he never showed any interest before one. Sometimes I get lucky and he would let me read couple of pages, but his impatience would kick and turns around to find other things to amuse himself with. I loss hope for a while and stop reading to him for a few months. When we visited my sister’s family in Albany last year, she gave us dozens of toddler books from Do and Jo’s library. We were so excited and encouraged to pick up reading to Ravi again. Slowly from 18 months on, Ravi started to show interest in reading. Finally by 2 years of age, he would demand to be read to regularly.
Mario and I take turns to read to Ravi. There are some books that we love as adults and some Ravi loves. Out of the dozens we have, here’s the top 8 ranked in order of how much all of us enjoy them.
1. “One Hungry Monster”, by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe. This is one book that all three of us enjoy tremendously. The story is in rhymes and counts from one to ten. It is well written, and the pictures are fantastic. Overall, it is just the cutest book ever. For a span of a couple of months, we read this book every night!
2. “The Day The Babies Crawled Away“, Peggy Rathmann. Mario and I fell in love with this book the first time we read it! It took a while for Ravi to like it since there are quit a few words in it. Graphic and story are both are great. It is probably more of a three year old book rather than a two year old book.
3. “Olivia Saves the Circus“, by Ian Falconer. I got to be honest, none of us liked this book the first time we read it. But more and more it grew on us. Now we think it is the cutest book ever! Ravi requests to have it read to him all the time and Mario loves to act out and exaggerate the voices when he reads it. We even started to watch Olivia on TV. Fun, fun, fun!
4. “Knuffle Bunny“, by Mo Willems. This is a story about Trixie and his security bunny, Knuffle. Ravi loves reading this one. Story is simply, graphic is innovative, lots of fun for everyone.
5. “Knuffle Bunny Too“, by Mo Willems. This story is about Trixie and Knuffle Bunny a few years later. I thought the original was going to be hard to beat, but this one definitely hold its own. It maintained its edge and story is still new and fun.
6. “ABC“, by Dr. Seuss’s. We actually have both the cardboard and hardcover copies. Ravi loves the inside covers with alphabets all over the place. We would generally begin or/and end the book by singing the ABC song at least once.
7. “Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!” by Dr. Seuss’s. I contribute Ravi’s new angry phrase: “you, get out!” from this book… But I do like this book myself and I always act out the words when I read it to Ravi.
8. “Hop on Pop“, by Dr. Seuss’s. This book seemed to be Ravi and Mario’s favorite book to read together. Ravi rarely asks me to read it to him.
Since we moved we haven’t been very disciplined in reading every night. But we are now getting back into the habit. Reading time is our family time where we all laugh and cuddle together. It is as fun for me and Mario as it is for Ravi. We all look forward to it everyday. I hope you all like our book choices too.